Israel Adesanya got back to his winning ways on Sunday with an outstanding five-round showing in the UFC 263 main event
Marvin Vettori believed he won his 2018 clash with Adesanya and never stopped calling for a rematch with the man who would go on to become UFC middleweight champion. Vettori got his rematch on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 263 and came up empty, with Adesanya taking a clear decision victory at Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona.
Vettori had only a few successful moments in the fight, scoring with a handful of takedowns, but Adesanya showcased improved grappling skills as he escaped back to his feet every time, including spinning out of a rear-naked choke attempt to end up in top position. Outside of those fleeting moments for Vettori, the fight was all Adesanya as he worked Vettori over with a steady diet of leg kicks.
Those leg kicks took the explosiveness out of Vettori’s takedown attempts, leaving him to spend much of the championship rounds leaning forward, clinging to Adesanya’s legs while not being able to put the fight back on the ground. This drew taunts from Adesanya and boos from the crowd.
Even with the fight clearly having gone Adesanya’s way, after the final horn, the two briefly exchanged words, with Vettori claiming to have done enough to win the fight.
In the end, Adesanya took every round on all three official scorecards, winning by scores of 50-45 across the board. Adesanya has now successfully defended the 185-pound championship three times and rebounded from a loss in his previous fight, an attempt to become a two-division champion when he went to light heavyweight to face 205-pound champion Jan Blachowicz.
After his victory, Adesanya called for a rematch with Robert Whittaker, the man he defeated to become champion.
“Whittaker, my arch-nemesis, Bobby,” Adesanya said. “I don’t know what the f— is gonna happen with COVID. We need to run that back in Auckland, in my territory this time. I’ll tell you what it is, I get to decide, you don’t get to decide, because why? I’m the motherf—ing king, bitch.”